You saw her grow up on ‘The Family Hustle’, and now she’s spreading her own wings her own way. She’s not that little girl anymore that we once knew from the hit reality show. Zonnique Pullins, the daughter of Xscape‘s Tiny and rapper T.I., has been working on music since the OMG Girlz; recently she released her EP, ‘Love Jones‘ with a very mature sound might I add. Zonnique is also embarking on her own lane in reality tv. She has joined the cast of ‘Growing Up In Hip Hop: Atlanta‘ alongside Bow Wow, Shaniah Mauldin, Ayana Fite, Reginae Carter, and Brandon Barnes, all affiliated by famous Hip Hop legends in some relation or another.
I had the extreme pleasure of chatting with Zonnique to discuss all things in her world. In part 1 of our conversation we talk about growing up in a famous household, how T.I. felt about her nature lyrics, working with mom, the OMG Girlz, and her dope EP, ‘Love Jones‘.
PYNK: Of course we saw you growing up on ‘The Family Hustle,’did you always know you wanted to do music growing up in a household surrounded by it?
Zonnique: I definitely always knew I wanted to do music. I guess I would say I didn’t know it would be a hard job to do; since all of my family made it look so easy, but just growing up around them I was just like, this is what I want to do in life! My grandparents raised me and my grandpa had his own group called the, he was the lead singer of a group called Tams and I got to go on the road with them everywhere and just see it first hand. I guess that really was like my biggest drive to wanna be able to do it, cause I saw just how in touch he was with his audience. My mom’s music videos and stuff, I was like this all just seems so perfect! So yeah, from the beginning.
PYNK: So how was it working with your mom?
Zonnique: My mom, working with her actually and now it’s getting a lot better. I feel like we’ve been working with each other for so long since OMG Girlz; me just being young I wasn’t really with it. I was like everybody’s lucky their mom isn’t apart of the OMG Girlz so much as mine is. She just goes so hard on me. She’d be like, ‘y’all sound good..’; or she’d say bad stuff, but when it comes to me she goes super hard on me and I was like this is not fair! So now that I’m a little older and we’re actually starting to be in the studio and writing together it’s been a lot of fun and I think that we appreciate each other’s input and sometimes she’s like, ‘Nique Nique, can you come here and help me write this’ or I’m like, ‘Ma can you just come in here and help me write this?!’ It’s gotten a lot better, I just really appreciate having her now more than I did when I was younger. I didn’t even understand.
PYNK: So speaking of the OMG Girlz, what happened with that? What ever happened with the group? Was it just young and said we’re gonna do our separate things?
Zonnique: Well, I would say at the time we all wanted to do something a little different. I wanna say when it comes to like management or something and we were all just kinda having a big disagreement. You know in groups you always have to be on the same page or somebody’s always gonna feel a way, so we were all just having a big discussion, like naw I feel this way and you feel that way; so we all came to a conclusion that maybe we should just try to do or own solo stuff and we told each other if things can come back together, let’s totally do it! We didn’t have any bad ends or anything; we’re all still super close and we all support what each other is doing solo, but we just felt like that was the best thing for the time.
PYNK: Of course I know your parents and the separation and everything like that; and of course them having different opinions, for instance about the mugshot. How has it been getting both of their input and has it made it harder on the involvement in your project since the separation?
Zonnique: I would say that my mom and stepdad are two of the same, but two totally opposites. So it’s always been kinda hard when it comes to getting advice from both of them, because my mom is always super free like and she’s like, ‘you know it’s whatever, I think you know if you like it people are gonna love it.’ Pops is always like, ‘You might wanna think about that!’ So I feel like it’s really always been like that even before the divorce so it’s really not even that different. I just usually don’t even ask Pops that much unless I know I’m just not even really sure about it, cause I always know he’s gonna tell me some real stuff that I might not wanna hear.
PYNK: Speaking of him, I was listening to the EP, I’m like wow, these lyrics are very mature and I know you’re 21!
PYNK: I was listening to “Should’ve Been” and “Ghost”, that’s the one that got me the most! I’m like wait a minute, 3am, okay! So what did he have to say about that?
Zonnique: (Laughs) While I was recording this project I tried to send him a song here and there, but really my mom would be the first person to do it, because she’s always gets extremely excited after I record something. She’ll listen to it over and over again and then she’s like, ‘I gotta send this to somebody, somebody gotta hear this!’ Pops is like one of her first people she sends it to and he’s always like, I mean he’ll call me like, ‘Baby girl you sound great, but I couldn’t listen pass this one line.’ So, it’s always somewhere that he has to stop listening to the song. That’s how it goes with him.
PYNK: So what was the creative process behind the EP? How was the writing, how did it start to come about?
Zonnique: Well, actually I had been recording since a little bit after the OMG Girlz broke up. My mom was just like, ‘Okay, if this is what you want to do you have to continue working at it.’ So we just starting recording a lot of songs, but none of it was going into a project at the time. I was just recording just random songs or whatever I was feeling at the moment. So then when I started getting it for the project and picking the songs for the project I didn’t even, I just picked my favorite songs and I didn’t even have a theme or anything or a name. I think the name of my project was like the last thing that I came up with and I just knew that all the songs I picked had such a love feel to it, other than “I’m Great.” So I just thought of the name ‘Love Jones’ and I’m like that name sounds like it’s a movie. I had never seen the movie and then the movie came on the next morning, I was like okay this is what I’m gonna call it. I watched the movie and I saw how it was like a poetry type movie and I just made the whole theme up around that.
PYNK: So what’s your personal favorite if you had to say your personal favorite from the EP, what would it be?
Zonnique: Hmmm, I’ve never got this question! Let’s see my personal favorite, the one that would be the first thing I turn on when I listen to my own project, either “Should’ve Been” and “I’m Great” are my top favorite. I can listen to those back to back.
Stay tuned for Part 2 of my chat with Zonnique and don’t forget to watch ‘Growing Up In Hip Hop: Atlanta tonight on WEtv at 10:00 PM EST!
Photo Credit(s): Zonnique’s IG